Technology Grants Support Health Sciences Faculty Research and Student Learning
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Technology Grants Support Health Sciences Faculty Research and Student Learning

Clickers in the Classroom

Health Sciences Assistant Professors Daniel DeMaio and Claudia Oakes with Provost Sharon Vasquez at the University's <strong>Innovations in Teaching</strong> program on September 26, 2011

Health Sciences' Assistant Professors Claudia Oakes and Daniel DeMaio were awarded an Educational Technology Grant from the University of Hartford Provost’s Office in 2009.  These funds were used to purchase an Audience Response System more commonly known as clickers.  During the fall of 2010 the clickers were used in multiple sections of the course Health Science 140: Introduction to Health Professions.  The purpose of the study was to assess students’ perceptions of classroom participation before and after using the clickers. 

After using the clickers to respond to questions designed to stimulate discussion, student comments were positive.  Students felt more involved in the class discussions and more comfortable participating.  The initial anonymity encouraged later participation as hesitant students discovered that others had answered the question as they had.  Seeing that I wasn’t the only one with that opinion gave me more confidence in myself to speak about the topic since other people agreed as well. Even without voicing their opinions, silent students felt they were participating. I liked the clickers because I could say my opinion without worrying about what others in the class thought.  

The results of this study were presented in April 2011 at the 91st Annual Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association, in Philadelphia, Penn. In September 2011, the faculty displayed the results at an Innovations in Teaching poster session held on campus. They have also co-authored, Clicking your way to student engagement, which will be published in the July/August 2012 issue of Radiologic Technology. 

For details of the study, view the poster presentation.

Audio Recorders Used in Qualitative Study of the Elderly

Oakes also received a grant from the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) in 2010 which provided funding to purchase audio recorders.  Students in her gerontology course utilized the recorders to conduct interviews related to the concept of aging in place. The interviews became part of a qualitative study which shed light on how older, community-dwelling women in West Hartford, Conn. age in place. 

The concept of aging in place broadly refers to policies, services, and supports that allow older adults to live in their homes and to be able to participate in their communities. It is known that aging women want to remain in their homes rather than move to an institution or move in with relatives. However, changes associated with the normal aging process – such as diminished vision, hearing, or muscle strength – can limit older women’s ability to function safely in their own homes. The student interviewers explored the ways in which the women used family, social, and community supports to facilitate their ability to remain in their homes.

Oakes has had two proposals related to the project accepted and will present both at the April 2012 conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association. One focuses on the results of the aging in place study.  Another looked at students’ perceptions of their participation in the project. 

For additional information, contact

Claudia Oakes
Health Science Program Coordinator
Department of Health Sciences in ENHP

Daniel N. DeMaio
Radiologic Technology Program Director
Department of Health Sciences in ENHP